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20 Questions - Posted January 27, 2017 noon
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Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Rev. Howard Griffin, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Read through the Bible every year. As a minister of word and sacrament I need to spend time in God’s word every day and not just for the sake of preparing a sermon.

How do you use social media to grow your network? Our church has a web page, www.firstpres.com. We also have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and we have a free app that people can download where they can get the latest announcements and hear recent sermons.

How do you maintain balance? Friday is my day off so I try to spend time doing what I like on Fridays – playing golf, reading books, watching movies with my wife and children.

What has been your wisest investment? Any time I go on a date with my wife or spend one-on-one time with my children it is a wise investment of time.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? I was a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers before I became a pastor. As a consultant, I learned to gather as much information as possible before making a decision based on facts and not just feelings. Right after seminary, I was an associate pastor for singles and college students at the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, where I learned how to build a team and the importance of working with other churches across denominational boundaries. After serving at the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, I became the missions pastor at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where I learned the transforming power of putting faith into action through mission trips.

What is the best part about your job? I get to spend hours reading and studying the Bible, and then I get to share what I have learned with others so they might grow in their relationship with Jesus.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? God has blessed me with several mentors who have helped me see how He has uniquely gifted me and how I can best use my gifts for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom.

Which living person do you most admire and why? I certainly admire Billy Graham. God used him to help bring millions of people to Jesus.

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? Whenever I hear people use the Lord’s name as a curse word it makes me cringe.

What is your business philosophy? Treat others the way you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

Which quality do you most value in an employee? Humility and faithfulness to treat others the way they would want to be treated.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? Prayerful diligence. I know that apart from Jesus I can do nothing (John 15:5).

Who is your favorite author? John, the youngest disciple of Jesus. The gospel of John is my favorite book in the Bible.

What did you learn from your best boss? Jesus is my boss, so I have learned how to love and serve others from Him. Your worst? My worst supervisor was a yeller. No one likes to work for a yeller.

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? I have seen God do some amazing things as our church has partnered with First Baptist, Polk Street United Methodist, and Central Church of Christ as a part of 4 Amarillo. The more that businesses can collaborate to revitalize downtown, the more I think our city will grow, and people will see that Amarillo is a great city to live in and grow their business.

Most important tech tool: I thank God for my iPhone. I am able to call, text, craft e-mails, and learn from other great leaders anywhere in the world.

Best time management tool: I am a student of Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I always try to put first things first, so I begin my day in prayer and study of God’s word, knowing that any decision I make should be guided by God’s word, and Sunday is coming, so I need to work on my sermon first thing in the morning, when I do my best thinking.

I can’t live without my: wife and kids.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: The friendly people, beautiful sunsets, and proximity to Palo Duro Canyon.

Most unusual job or task: In Mississippi, I once used a jack hammer to break up concrete so we could lay sewage pipes.

-- the AM Team

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